Manchester United are set to ignite their transfer window with a bang—with rumours a £58 million bid for Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller is being prepared.
Sport1.de (h/t football writer Rafael Hernandez) report that a huge offer will be made by Louis van Gaal for the German World Cup winner, as the Red Devils look to add world-class quality to their first team.
FCB coach Pep Guardiola has apparently fallen out with the mercurial attacker in training, with Muller apologising for the altercation, per Goal.com:
However, Muller himself recently commented on the transfer speculation surrounding him at Bayern, and appeared calm at the thought of his immediate future, as quoted by Oliver Todd of the Daily Mail: "When a transfer request comes in, you automatically deal with it. A request from another big club is an honour and a telling reward that one's performances are good. But I feel good at Bayern and my deal runs until 2019. It's better to ignore speculation."
What is interesting about Muller's words is he appears to confirm an approach—or "a request" as he describes it—from "another big club," so the speculation surrounding United's interest will gather momentum as a result.
Prominent Bundesliga expert Raphael Honigstein says United's recent courting of Bastian Schweinsteiger might have been a smokescreen in a move for Muller, citing SportBild's Christian Falk:
Wild rumours had also circulated that Bild had claimed Bayern were willing to swap Muller and Arjen Robben for United's Angel Di Maria. However, Tom Sheen of the Independent later confirmed the claims were a hoax, originating from social media.
Muller has continued to be a strong influence for FCB in the past 12 months—despite the allegedly strained relationship with Guardiola. Last year, the attacker hit 20 goals and 13 assists in 38 Bundesliga and European starts, per WhoScored.com.
United definitely need to find themselves a world-class attacker to help Wayne Rooney after the failure of Radamel Falcao—who has inexplicably earned a move to Premier League champions Chelsea—and the possibility of Robin van Persie departing for Turkish football, per Emre Sarigul and Jamie Jackson of the Guardian.
Muller is well aware of LvG's regime, having thrived under him at Bayern, and he would surely be tempted to rejoin his former mentor if his relationship with Guardiola is souring.
United need to expedite their transfer activity now, with pre-season already underway, if they want to be considered viable Premier League challengers.
Last year, Van Gaal's team started very slowly across their first 10 matches, and the Dutch coach needs to avoid that scenario if he has true ambitions of trophy glory.
Muller would be a statement of intent by Ed Woodward and the United board, and it would be a move Red Devils supporters would advocate across the globe.